Skip to main content
John David Hadden

John Hadden’s Answers

5 total

  • I just move out a house and my landlord dnt want give me my s deposit

    My landlord dnt want give me my s deposit unless I clean off roff outside due to weather and clean base board and he say refriga Tor wasn't cleaned enough for him and stove wasn't cleaned enough for him and he want me to patch up lil nail holes t...

    John’s Answer

    Georgia law has pretty strict rules for landlords holding security deposits, and in my experience (both as a lawyer and as a renter back in law school) those rules frequently are not followed. The rules include documentation requirements of the reason the deposit is being withheld. If the landlord fails to follow the rules set forth by law, then he or she is potentially subject to penalties of treble damages (meaning 3 times the amount of the deposit you are owed).

    I would recommend reading the law and giving a copy to your landlord. The statutes can be found in the Official Code of Georgia, Sections 44-7-30 through 37. If that doesn't solve the problem, you can always take the case to court, but you might benefit from having a lawyer at that point.

    See question 
  • My husband was fired after he asked that he be paid the correct wage on an out of town job as according to the Davis Bacon law.

    This is not the first time this company has tried to cheat him pay. This knowledge of this goes up at least as far as the regional manager. This is a very large corporation and the division my husband works out of is dealing under handed. We ar...

    John’s Answer

    Based on the facts as you have relayed them, there may be a claim under Davis-Bacon and perhaps a whistleblower/federal qui tam claim as well. My firm handles wage-and-hour claims and would be glad to speak with you and your husband about these issues. Feel free to call me at the number listed on Avvo.


    See question 
  • I have a civil lawsuit filed against insurance company for (Bad Faith/Breach of Contract) for denied total loss vehicle claim!

    As a result it caused financial hardship - specifically want to know about breach of addition to paying the claim the law requires them to put us in same position we were in if claim was paid correct. I filed bankruptcy (ch 7) - lost pri...

    John’s Answer

    Georgia has strict laws regarding penalties and available recoveries for wrongful denial of an insurance claims. Official Code of Georgia, Annotated, Section 33-4-6 sets out the procedure for this type of claim. If the law is followed and you are successful, you can obtain the amount off the loss plus a statutory penalty of 50% of the loss, plus attorneys' fees and court costs. However, you have to make a demand upon the insurer to cover the loss at least 60 days prior to filing a lawsuit. If the demand is not accepted by the end of 60 days, then you can file suit and have the possibility of receiving an award of penalties on top of the amount you should have received as insurance benefits. If you don't send the demand, you're limited to the insurance benefits. I would highly recommend that you hire an attorney for this type of thing - these are complex issues, and there is a very good chance that the case will end up in federal court, which adds to the complexity.

    Unfortunately, Georgia law does not generally allow for the recovery of other damages, such as the financial hardship you mentioned.

    I assume, from your question, that you're referring to a claim against your own insurance company. Except in very limited circumstances, you cannot sue someone else's insurance company because they haven't paid a claim.

    See question 
  • Can I sue for defamation of character and libel?

    My ex roommate referred to me in two newspaper articles she wrote. Some of the statements she made were untrue and only intended to damage my reputation. I notified her that she needed to retract and correct the statements she made or else I woul...

    John’s Answer

    Defamation/libel cases are always very fact specific so it is impossible to determine from the limited information you provided whether you have a valid claim. However, it does sound like you have have a claim, and I would recommend more investigation.

    A recent decision from the Georgia Court of Appeals defined libel as "[a]ny false and malicious defamation of another in any newspaper, magazine, or periodical, tending to injure the reputation of the person and expose him to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule." Since the question indicates you are in Athens, I would recommend that you go to the UGA Law Library and find the latest edition of "Georgia Law of Torts," which has a section on defamation claims that should give you more guidance.

    Magistrate court is commonly referred to as "small claims court," and its jurisdiction is limited to claims of $15,000 or less. If the amount you are claiming falls within that limit, you can file in magistrate court. Typically, the rules are more relaxed there than in other courts, as many of the parties are not represented by attorneys. The process will also probably move a lot faster. If your claim exceeds $15,000, you will need to look to state or superior court, both of which have jurisdiction over claims of any amount.

    See question 
  • If divorced does ex-wifes name need to be removed from life insurance?

    I have been remarried a year since my divorce but I just found out my company did not remove my ex from my life insurance as beneficiary. If something would happen to me would it automatically go to my new wife or my ex?

    John’s Answer

    While it is possible that there is some specific law or doctrine in your state that would prevent your ex-wife from receiving your life insurance benefits, that is very unlikely. You can name anyone to be a life insurance beneficiary, and until you change it to your current wife, chances are those benefits would go to your ex. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to change beneficiaries (usually with something called a Designation of Beneficiary" form).

    In any event, I would certainly go ahead and change it.

    See question